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Robert Eisenman
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Robert Eisenman is the author of James the Brother of Jesus ( 1998 ) and The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians ( 1996 ) and co-editor of The Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls ( 1989 ) and The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered ( 1992 ). He is Professor of Middle East Religions and Archaeology and the Director of the Institute for the Study of Judeo-Christian Origins at California State University Long Beach and Visiting Senior Member of Linacre College, Oxford.

He holds a B.A. from Cornell University in Philosophy and Engineering Physics, an M. A. from N. Y. U. in Near Eastern Studies, and a Ph. D. from Columbia University in Middle East Languages and Cultures.. He was a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies and an American Endowment for the Humanities Fellow-in-Residence at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, where the Dead Sea Scrolls first came in.

His first book was Islamic Law in Palestine and Israel from E. J. Brill in Leiden, Holland in 1978 and this was followed by two other books from E. J. Brill In Leiden: Maccabees, Zadokites, Christians and Qumran: A New Hypothesis of Qumran Origins ( 1982 ) and James the Just in the Habakkuk Pesher ( 1984 ).

He was the leader of the worldwide campaign from 1987-1992 to break the academic and scholarly monopoly over the Dead Sea Scrolls, freeing them for research by all interested persons regardless of affiliation or credentials. As a consequence of this, he was the Consultant to the Huntington Library on its decision to open its archives and allow free access to the Scrolls. In 2002-3 he was the first to publicly announce that the ‘James Ossuary’, which so suddenly and ‘miraculously’ appeared, was fraudulent; and he did thison the basis of the actual inscription itself and what it said without any ‘scientific’ or ‘pseudo-scientific’ aids on the very same day it was first made public .

His is the author of The New Testament Code: The Cup of the Lord, the Damascus Covenant, and the Blood of Christ, ( Sterling/Barnes and Noble, October, 2006 ).

His latest book, a collection of travel/road poetry (cosmopolitanized) from 1959-62 with an Afterword on the Six-Day War (April-June, 1967), entitled THE NEW JERUSALEM, and which Eisenman considers his 'Anti-Beat Manifesto,' has just been published from North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, in June, 2007.

Entries by Robert Eisenman

'Sicarii Essenes,' 'Those of the Circumcision,' and Qumran

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2014 | 10:58 AM

In a much overlooked description of 'the Essenes', attributed to the Third-Century Early Church theologian Hippolytus in Rome, there exists a completely original version of Josephus' famous description of them. This probably goes back to a variant version of the received Josephus, the one even he says he did in...

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Confusions of "Pharisees" and "Essenes" in Josephus

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 3:41 PM

Several historical and textual problems emerge from identifying the Dead Sea Scrolls with "the Essenes". Since most of our knowledge about "Essenes" is based on notices from the First-Century Jewish historian Josephus, it is reasonable to suppose that some of these difficulties stem from Josephus' own confusions, distortions, or purposeful...

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James the Just as Righteous Teacher -- The Radiocarbon Controversy

(6) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 4:49 PM

The thing that has principally held researchers back from making the kinds of connections outlined in my article "Internal vs. External Data and the Dead Sea Scrolls" two months ago (internal-evidence-vs-external-evidence-carbon-testing-dead-sea-scrolls) is the chronology of Qumran based on the External Data - as we showed - primarily including archaeology, paleography...

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Paul's 'Comrade-in-Arms' Epaphroditus and the First Gospels

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 10:19 AM

Author's note: Much of what follows is excerpted from pp. 788-801 of my James the Brother of Jesus (Viking/Faber&Faber/Penguin, 1997-98); but it has been 'borrowed' so much - sometimes even without attribution - that I felt it might be good to repeat the gist of it in more popular (though...

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Internal Evidence vs. External Evidence Like Carbon Testing in the Dead Sea Scrolls

(57) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 10:44 PM

There are two kinds of data for materials such as those found at Qumran (the Dead Sea Scrolls), 'external' and 'internal.' 'External data' consist of things like archaeology, paleography, and carbon dating. In a situation like of the Scrolls, the latter turn out to often be either imprecise or unreliable.

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Napoleon Has Succeeded, the Great Moment Has Arrived: Egypt, July 3, 2013

(14) Comments | Posted July 6, 2013 | 11:38 AM

Who would have thought it? Napoleon invaded Egypt, which many thought the most foolhardy military adventure of his career, over two centuries ago on July 2nd, 1798 and fought "The Battle of the Pyramids" against the Mameluks on July 21st.

At that moment, under the Pyramids -- his real intent...

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Thug Capitalism and Free Enterprise

(7) Comments | Posted June 30, 2013 | 10:50 AM

Why the world is not "Flat", as some people would have us believe, but rather incredibly TILTED AGAINST US.

"Thug Capitalism" turns the mechanisms of the West against it ultimately threatening to undermine and overwhelm it -- even own it, this time without firing a shot.

Prime Minister...

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The James Ossuary: Is It Authentic? (An Update)

(7) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 1:46 PM

The only trial in the world which seems to have taken longer than the Amanda Knox one in Italy is the extended "trial" over the so-called "James Ossuary" in Jerusalem. Like the former, which still gives promise of carrying on into several stages of appeal anyhow, the latter is largely...

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Abrahamic Conversion

(5) Comments | Posted August 19, 2011 | 12:11 PM

I first began writing this piece with only people of Jewish background in mind, since I was concerned about the unnecessary humiliation and suffering people from countries in the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Burma and elsewhere -- even "Christians" from the United States -- undergo in seeking conversion or when...

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Who Killed Orde Wingate? (Part Two)

(1) Comments | Posted June 27, 2011 | 9:06 AM

This is the second installment in a two-part series. Read part one here.

Wavell was now Commander-in-Chief of India and on the Governor's Council and the Japanese were pouring through the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, and Burma. Again, he realized he needed Wingate seconded to him in Rangoon as...

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Who Killed Orde Wingate?

(22) Comments | Posted June 24, 2011 | 6:13 PM

Orde Wingate is perhaps so famous that there is no need to summarize his life. There are a plethora of good biographies, pro and con, for these purposes; but just for the argument, let us summarize a few points here. His father was first cousin to Sir Reginald Wingate, Governor...

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Ultimatums Work -- Sarkozy and Cameron Intervene

(20) Comments | Posted March 20, 2011 | 3:58 PM

Last week I posted a piece (11/3/11): "The Power of Ultimatums -- The Forgotten Diplomatic Tool." In it, I pointed out that this could easily be applied to the Libyan situation -- though with a little more difficulty the Iranian, North Korean, and ultimately even the Pakistani.


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The Power of Ultimatums -- the Forgotten Diplomatic Tool

(14) Comments | Posted March 10, 2011 | 10:30 PM

Ultimatums have gotten a bad name. This is probably because of what happened in the run-up to World War I when they were thrown around somewhat promiscuously and ended up being partly to blame for the ensuing world-wide catastrophe.

Then came the League of Nations which was supposedly going to...

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Zahi Hawass for Prime Minister

(9) Comments | Posted February 3, 2011 | 3:32 PM

As it has now turned out, Zahi Hawass is in Mubarak's new Cabinet as Minister for Cultural Affairs or some such thing. He reported to the press how the antiquities in the Cairo Museum were saved and how he told the beduin who stole some objects being stored in Sinai...

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'The James Ossuary' and Its Authenticity

(14) Comments | Posted January 20, 2011 | 11:27 AM

Now that the extended 'trial' over "the James Ossuary" or "James Bone Box" in Israel is nearing its conclusion and all that remains to be announced is the verdict -- which in the present writer's mind is a foregone conclusion, no evaluation of data having had to take this long...

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If Menachem Begin Wore Swim Trunks, He Would Never Have Withdrawn from Sinai (and Castro's Recent Comments)

(61) Comments | Posted September 28, 2010 | 1:45 PM

If Menachem Begin had worn swim trunks, he would never have completely withdrawn from Sinai and kept Gaza. Actually everything was pretty clear when Begin -- with Ariel Sharon's help and approval -- basically unilaterally withdrew from Sinai, bulldozed Yamit, and kept Gaza. This was in response to "the mouse...

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The Greatest "Heritage Site" of All

(0) Comments | Posted August 2, 2010 | 10:29 AM

The awarding of the Wolf Prize for Architecture to my brother Peter Eisenman for his splendid Holocaust Memorial in Berlin is a well-deserved and noble gesture for extraordinary and brilliant efforts in memorialization. Having said this, let me observe that, while we Jews - 'we' in Israel and 'we' abroad...

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Redemonizing Judas: Gospel Fiction or Gospel Truth?

(17) Comments | Posted September 13, 2009 | 3:36 PM

"Judas Reconsidered -- Betrayal: Should We Hate Judas Iscariot"? These are the shout lines given the most recent article in the New Yorker magazine (8/3/09) on the Gospel of Judas by Joan Acocella (credentials unknown, though her specialty has mostly been dance), which burst upon the scene in 2006 via...

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Gospel Fiction and the Redemonization of Judas

(12) Comments | Posted December 19, 2007 | 3:09 PM

The New York Times is at work again and the "demonization" of Judas Iscariot is once more in play. The best example of this is the appearance at the beginning of the month of an op-ed piece, "Gospel Truth" by Prof. April DeConick of Rice University (The New York Times,...

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Christiane Amanpour's God's Warriors, "the Jews," and "the Occupied Territories": Is this for Real?

(216) Comments | Posted August 27, 2007 | 7:58 PM

Christiane Amanpour in her "God's Warriors: The Jews" broadcast on CNN this weekend - aside from giving voice to as many anti-Israel and anti-"settlement" critics as one might imagine and almost no "Jewish" (really?) God's Warriors, except to portray them in the most trivialized manner - must have used the...

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